It can be surprisingly simple to make small dietary and lifestyle changes that dramatically reduce your prostate cancer risk. Here are my top 9 foods, herbs and lifestyle approaches to protect your prostate for life.
Eat a Handful of Walnuts Every Day: In a study published in the medical journal Cancer Investigation researchers found that animals that ate walnuts as part of their daily diet had a significantly reduced number and growth of prostate cancer tumors. Eating only one-half cup of raw, unsalted walnuts daily can help maintain prostate health and prevent cancer. I’ve recommended walnuts to many of my clients over the years and even those who dislike most walnuts tell me that fresh, raw, unsalted walnuts purchased from the refrigerator section of their health food store are delicious.
Enjoy a Dandelion Root Tea or Smoothie: Another study, published in the International Journal of Oncology, found that a tea made from dandelion leaves decreased the growth of breast cancer cells, while a tea made from the root blocked the ability of cancer cells to invade healthy breast and prostate tissue. Dandelion root tea is available from most health food stores. I prefer to blend a tablespoon of ground, roasted dandelion root with 1-1/2 cups almond milk and a dash of the natural sweetener stevia, and some ice cubes for a delicious smoothie. It has a natural nutty, mocha flavor that makes this smoothie my all-time favorite.
Add Fresh Garlic to Your Meals: Researcher published in the journal Food and Function concludes that garlic has the ability to inhibit different types of tumors and lower the risks of esophageal, stomach and prostate cancers. It’s easy to add freshly chopped garlic to soups, stews, salad dressings or a marinade for vegetables, legumes and other foods.
Add Orange-Colored Foods for Optimal Protection: Orange foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, mangoes, peaches, papaya, squash and tomatoes contain a set of compounds known as carotenoids. There are about 60 different carotenoids (you may be familiar with beta carotene, which is one type of carotenoid). Research published in the medical journalCancer Epidemiology shows that men with the highest levels of carotenoids have a reduction in levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA)—a biochemical marker that is used to screen for prostate cancer; high PSA levels are sometimes an indicator for the disease.
Kick Up Your Meals with Fresh Ginger: Research published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that ginger and its active ingredients helps to control prostate cancer. Add freshly grated or minced ginger to soups, stews, curries or boil a handful of chopped ginger in one quart of water for at least 45 minutes, strain and sweeten with a dash of stevia, if desired, for a delicious, warming ginger tea.
Bring the Sting to Your Diet: The much-overlooked weed known as stinging nettles have been found to be superior to the drug finasteride in the treatment of the prostate condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate becomes enlarged and presses on the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder), thereby reducing urine flow and causing incomplete emptying of the bladder. BPH is frequently a precursor to prostate cancer, so preventing BPH may help prevent cancer too. Although the effect is not completely understood, the researchers are clear that nettles work as effectively as the common drug used to treat this condition. While nettles may offer a slight stinging sensation when picked without gloves, this stingers disappear during the cooking process. Add a handful of nettles leaves (which are prevalent this time of year in most places) to your soups or stews.
Add a Sprig of Rosemary: In preliminary research published in the online medical journal PLoS One, researchers found that a standardized extract of one of the rosemary’s active compounds, carnosic acid, demonstrated selective activity against prostate cancer cells, as opposed to healthy cells. While further research is needed to determine rosemary’s potential in preventing cancer, this study suggests that it holds promise. Add chopped fresh or dried rosemary leaves to soups, stews, vegetable, or poultry or beef dishes.
Like Some Lycopene for Best Results: The carotenoid known as lycopene is well-established in research to help protect against many types of cancer, including prostate. It is primarily found in guavas, pink grapefruit, papayas, rosehips, strawberries, tomatoes (especially orange ones) and watermelon. Check out my blog “5 Little-Known Anti-Cancer Secrets from a Nutritionist” to maximize lycopene absorption and discover other anti-cancer strategies.
Take a Brisk Walk Down Cancer-Prevention Lane: According to researchers at Harvard University, getting three or more hours a week of vigorous activity is enough to reduce the risk of death from prostate cancer by 61 percent. That works out to just under 26 minutes a day. Go for a brisk walk, hop on your bike, hike the hills or enjoy some other form of brisk activity for 26 minutes a day to maximize your cancer protection.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is a registered nutritionist and international best-selling and 19-time published book author whose works include: Cancer-Proof: All-Natural Solutions for Cancer Prevention and Healing.
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